"Readers will discover in [Seethaler's] contained prose a vehicle for keen insight and observation."- Publishers Weekly
"The book's prose has a directness and detail that helps set off the moments of genuine wisdom and restrained poetry . . . It is at this point that you realize why the novel should be doing so well in Germany, and why it is so urgent for the rest of us: it can guide its readers to make the best of their lives, however they turn out." - Sunday Telegraph
"Against the backdrop of a literary world that often seems crowded with novels yelling 'Look at me!, ' it's refreshing to read a story marked by quiet, concentrated attention . . . Deeply moving."- Sunday Times
‘Heart-rending and heart-warming . . . for all its gentleness, a very powerful novel’ Jim Crace
Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn’t ask for her hand in marriage, but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas’ heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII – where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus – and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven . . .
Like John Williams’ Stoner or Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. An exquisite novel about a simple life, it has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of solace and truth. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.